Christian Parenting · Youth Corner

Christian Parenting – Part 5

With children what is required is a lot of prayer and few words 

All things are achieved through prayer, silence and love. Have you un­derstood the effects of prayer? Love in prayer, love in Christ. That is what is truly beneficial. As long as you love your children with human love — which is often pathological — the more they will be mixed-up, and the more their behaviour will be negative. But when the love be­tween you and towards your children is holy and Christian love, then you will have no problem. The sanctity of the parents saves the chil­dren. For this to come about, divine grace must act on the souls of the parents. No one can be sanctified on his own. The same divine grace will then illuminate, warm and animate the souls of the children. People often telephone me from abroad and ask me about their children and about other matters. Today a mother phoned me from Milan and asked me how she should behave towards her children. What I said to her was this:

‘Pray, and when you have to, speak to your children with love. Lots of prayer and few words. Lots of prayer and few words for everyone. We mustn’t become an annoyance, but rather pray secretly and then speak, and God will let us know in our hearts whether the others have accept­ed what we have said. If not, we won’t speak. We will simply pray mys­tically. Because if we speak we become an annoyance and make others react or even infuriate them. That is why it is better to speak mystically to the heart of others through secret prayer rather than to their ears.

Pray and then speak. That’s what to do with your children. If you are constantly lecturing them, you’ll become tiresome and when they grow up they’ll feel a kind of oppression. Prefer prayer and speak to them through prayer. Speak to God and God will speak to their hearts. That is, you shouldn’t give guidance to your children with a voice that they hear with their ears. You may do this too, but above all you should speak to God about your children. Say, “Lord Jesus Christ, give Your light to my children. I en­trust them to You. You gave them to me, but I am weak and unable to guide them, so, please, illuminate them.” And God will speak to them and they will say to themselves, “Oh dear, I shouldn’t have upset Mummy by doing that!” And with the grace of God this will come from their heart.’

This is the most perfect way — for the mother to speak to God and for God to speak to the children. If you do not communicate in this way, constant lecturing becomes a kind of intimidation. And when the child grows up it begins to rebel, that is, to take revenge, so to speak, on its fa­ther and mother who coerced it. One way is the perfect way — for the mother’s and father’s holiness and love in Christ to speak. The radiance of sanctity and not human effort makes for good children.

When the children are traumatized and hurt on account of some se­rious situation, don’t let it affect you when they react negatively and speak rudely. In reality they don’t want to, but can’t help themselves at difficult times. They are remorseful afterwards. But if you become irri­tated and enraged, you become one with the evil spirit and it makes a mockery of you all. 

 Elder Porphyrios

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